I developed a fascination with tunnel construction and complex infrastructure projects already during my time at university. This fascination has strongly influenced the course of my career in Austria and abroad and today has become a true passion.

Some of the most important and influential stations:
At only 31 years old, I was appointed Managing Director of the Overseas Branch in Dubai. During the following 6 years, skillful negotiations with the Arabic clients and the restructuring of the company were some of my biggest challenges. Through the exceptionally large field of activity of the Overseas Branch, including structural construction, pipeline construction, marine construction, special foundation construction, tunnel construction and road construction, I gained a broad range of technical expertise.

In 2005, I was entrusted with one of the biggest challenges of my career. Initially as a 1 man company, I was contracted by the German construction company Hochtief AG to oversee the establishment of the Hochtief Construction Branch in Austria and the founding of Hochtief Construction Austria GmbH & Co KG. Within just 3 years, my newly formed team and I were able to achieve an annual turnover of 100 million euros. This success was the result of the incredible motivation of the entire team, the enormous will to succeed and of course their extraordinary work performance.

High profile projects like the Wienerwald Tunnel, Lainzer Tunnel, Tulln West Railroad Loop and the new Salzburg train station were all successfully realized.
However, the biggest challenge by far, was undoubtedly during my time at Hochtief, where I was responsible for the PPP project Eastern Region - A5 freeway. The first major PPP infrastructure project in Austria encompassed a construction volume of 800 million euros and had to be completed, including planning, building permits, construction and technical equipment, in just 3 years. During peak times, we were able to achieve a monthly turnover of 60 million euros with 1,500 employees and 400 pieces of heavy construction equipment. Detailed work planning, practical risk management and the outstanding work performance of the highly motivated employees made it possible to achieve an above average profit. Through this project, I not only acquired skills that are unique in Austria, but also developed a true passion and enthusiasm for PPP projects.

In 2012, my career path led me to Porr Bau GmbH as CEO and Member of the Executive Board, where I was responsible for all civil engineering projects in CEE and SEE. Although the construction industry in this region can be described as extremely difficult, I was able to achieve a turnaround and generate positive results.

In addition to the challenges of this restructuring, a further personal highlight was certainly the responsibility for the acquisition of Bilfinger Infrastructure SA in Poland. It was the largest takeover project in the company’s history, and not only sustainably secured the civil engineering business in Poland, but also led to the successful entry into the market in Norway.

In addition to project management experience with large-scale and PPP projects in road, railway, tunnel, power plant, pipeline, hydraulic and building construction, strategy development, entrepreneurship, organizational development, personnel management, acquisition and calculation tasks and results-oriented action were of great importance in my many years of management activity.

All this, and of course an enduring passion and enthusiasm for construction and everything it involves, motivated me to found my own company and share my know-how to actively help other companies along their path to success.

Work Experience

  • 12.2012 to 05.2016: CEO; Porr Bau Gmbh
    Responsible for Norway, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia and Romania
  • 05.2005 to 11.2012: CEO; Hochtief Construction Austria GmbH & Co KG
    Responsible for Austria, SEE and the earthworks and road construction projects for the entire company
  • 08.2001 to 04.2005: Branch Manager;Tiefbau; AST - Holzmann Bauges.mbH
    Responsible for civil engineering projects in Austria
  • 03.1996 to 07.2001: Managing Director; Overseas AST LLC Dubai UAE
    Responsible for the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman
  • 12.1992 to 02.1995: Estimator and Site Manager; Ed.AST & Co Bauges.mbH
    Construction Sites: Sao Pedro do Sul Power Plant / Portugal, City Bypass Rattenberg / Austria, Pilot Tunnel Lötschberg / Switzerland
  • 09.1984 to 10.1992 Vienna University of Technology
    Civil engineering with an emphasis in Structural Engineering
    Thesis title: The Relationships between Geotechnical Measurements and the New Austrian Tunneling Method

Professional Milestones

  • 1996 to 2001: Restructuring Overseas AST LLC, Dubai
  • 2001-2003: Restructuring project for the S7 airport commuter train, Vienna. Loss reduction from 18 million to 3.4 million euros
  • 2005: Establishment of the Hochtief Construction Austria Branch
  • 2007: Establishment of the Hochtief Construction Austria GmbH
  • 2007-2010: Lead management for Hochtief AG in the bidding and realization of the first PPP infrastructure project PPP A5 North Freeway. Construction volume of 800 million euros
  • 2013: Introduction of in-depth offer processing and risk management at BU2 Porr Bau GmbH
  • 2015: Acquisition of Bilfinger Infrastructure SA; establishment of the country unit in Norway and turnaround of BU2 with the first positive result for BU2 / Porr Bau GmbH
Michael Salzmann
Dipl. Ing. Michael Salzmann